Best Side Project

Song Sparrow Research

While Country Lips have not-so-quietly built a reputation as the most rock-and-roll country band in town, their co-frontman Hamilton Boyce has also been busy with another act: Song Sparrow Research. The indie rockers released their self-titled debut on July 26, and it's a dramatic departure from Boyce's boot-stomping, barnstorming gig with the Lips. More in the vein of contemporary groups like Beach House and Beirut, Song Sparrow Research sounds dreamy, anthemic, and occasionally melancholy. The group takes its name from Boyce's undergraduate research at the University of Washington, where he worked in a lab that studied the function and development of bird song. He must have learned a thing or two, 'cause Mother Nature would be proud of these tunes. KEEGAN HAMILTON

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